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What healthcare  insurance is best for as expat?  Can I pay intothe National Health system?

Hi Sarah,

If you are classed as "resident" in the UK, then you are entitled to treatment under the NHS scheme.  The only things the NHS does not cover is Dental, Optician, prescriptions and wigs/clothing.  That said, some people describe a Post Code lottery for some items; in other words, some high-cost procedural treatments (i.e. IVF) can be restricted depending on where you live.

I am 69 years old.  Would I have to give up my US citizenship in order to apply for the programs you mentioned?  Can I pay into the systen?

Hi Sarah,

I'm not sure from your post what your reason for visiting the UK is, but citizenship has no bearing on Healthcare in the UK.  If you are here on a tourist visa, then you need Private medical insurance; if you have been granted "Residence" i.e. permission to live here, then you are covered by the NHS.

There are lots of options for Healthcare Insurance; at the top of this page is our Handy Tools Link; if you select that, you'll get many options to choose from, but one is for Health Insurance, you could check that out, or try using Google for other options.

I plan to live there.  So I can be a resident with a US passport.  Assume I have to get permission from the UK

Ah, then you may have a problem.  Unless you have dual-nationality or another EU passport, the UK no longer issues retirement visas to anybody.

Prescriptions are free in Scotland & Wales, its England that there is a charge.

SimCityAT :

Prescriptions are free in Scotland & Wales, its England that there is a charge.

For medication charges only; anything else is charged.  Also, bearing in mind the OP's age (> 60), she would be exempt for medication anyway.

Ok.  I would be living in scotland.  So due to my age and country I would be living in my prescriptions would be free.  And I need to get my own health care insurance.  I am also a widow of a US vetran.  Are there any US bases or joint bases in the Uk?

There are US bases in the UK; all in England.  Your veteran status won't count for much unless you have retained privileges to use BX/PX overseas - I know that some veterans have this via the veteran ID card, you'll need to check.  You can contact AAFES toll-free on 0800-96-8101.  I have a US passport and am also ex-military; I can't get on a US base in the UK because they have tax-free status  (I've got over it :) )

If you can get residence, then your healthcare would be free, including medication.  The trick will be getting into the UK because, as I said, the UK no longer issue retirement visas to anybody.

I do have a military id card as my husband served for25 years and retired from the USCG.  So Tricare said I Could go there for treatment.  But, as you say it is the logistics.  So I need to get a healthcare plan.  So far $700 usd a month is pricey.

There used to be a base in Scotland (RAF Edzell); it closed in 1996.  The nearest current US bases to Scotland are Fylingdales and Menwith Hill (both in Yorkshire); these are communication and intelligence sites, so have little in the way of facilities.  I think Mildenhall (Norfolk) is the nearest base medical facility, but that may be closing - they are still talking about it.

Sarah Hood :

I do have a military id card as my husband served for25 years and retired from the USCG.  So Tricare said I Could go there for treatment.  But, as you say it is the logistics.  So I need to get a healthcare plan.  So far $700 usd a month is pricey.

One last point; have you considered Ireland; should you be able to claim Irish nationality, then you would have the right to enter the UK?

I have found reasonable healtcare insurance.  I am scotch/Irish but it goes back to the1700's.  Thank you though

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